For its 18th edition, SOLUTRANS, the headline tradeshow for light and heavy commercial vehicles, will also be a major platform for sustainable solutions to meet the challenges of a greener transport sector. Among them, the cargo bike will be firmly centre stage, through a comprehensive overview of the developed solutions and a programme of special events including talks, round tables and workshops to offer insight to the more than 50,000 visitors expected.
Between the implementation of LEZs scheduled for 2025 in the main cities in France, the traffic restrictions resulting from them, and the carbon emissions generated by road transportation, last-yard delivery is a genuine issue that transport professionals have a duty to consider in their logistical distribution processes. To address all these new constraints impacting transport and deliveries, in particular in city centres, the commercial vehicle sector has to reorganise. In this respect, an increasing number of industry professionals are turning to alternative delivery modes such as cargo bikes.
WHAT’S A CARGO BIKE?
Electrically assisted cargo solutions – or cargo bikes - are defined as e-bikes (or trikes) fitted with a cargo box that can carry loads of various volumes. There are several categories of cargo solution:
- The cargo bike (with two wheels) designed to carry a load on a deck located between the steering column and the front wheel;
- The cargo trike (a regular or tilting three-wheeler) with the cargo space at the front;
- The long tail with a payload behind the seat for two children or bulky loads;
- The front loader cargo bike, with the payload placed above the front wheel.
The capacity of an electric cargo bike can vary depending on its make and model. However, most electric cargo bikes can carry up to 250 kg of goods. Some larger and more robust models can even carry up to 400 kg or more.
Over the years, the cargo bike industry has enjoyed substantial growth and many companies and tradesmen businesses are now showing an interest in them. In addition to their versatility, modularity and the significant weights that they can carry, cargo bikes can go anywhere in towns and are easy to park. This is a serious advantage for transporters who no longer have access to city centres.
Another advantage in favour of the use of the cargo bike: it is estimated that an e-bike only emits 22 g of carbon dioxide per kilometre (including the production of the battery) whereas cars and vans emit on average ten times more. Furthermore, professionals in France can also benefit from subsidies equivalent to 40% of the purchasing price up to a maximum of €2000.
Attracted by these benefits, transport and cyclo-logistics professionals, fed up with congestion and the increasing rarity of parking spaces, are increasingly adopting this advantageous form of green mobility.